Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
The substitution of voice for musical instruments is a time-honored tradition in jazz. Vocalese and scat singing are part of the genre. Entirely substituting a vocal tradition for entirely instrumental treatment especially one from distant shores further extends the boundaries of America’s native music.
Brooklyn Qawwali Party is one such band that does this. Qawwali is a 700-year-old style of Sufi devotional music traditionally performed by a group of 10-12 male singers accompanied by a harmonium. This music was introduced to a worldwide audience through Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD by the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Brooklyn Qawwali Party is a tribute band to the singer.